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Georgia Theropod Named


April 17, 2005 12:07 p.m. EST

Christina Ficara  All Headline News Staff Writer COLUMBUS, GA. (AHN)
Paleontologists discover new dinosaur species believed to be early
relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The scientists made the identification
from hundreds of fossilized fragments collected mostly in Montgomery
County, Ala., and southwestern Georgia. They named the new dinosaur
Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis, which means "the Appalachian lizard from
Montgomery County."

Scientists believe the species roamed what is now the Southeastern United
States some 77 million years ago.

David R. Schwimmer of Columbus State University; Thomas Carr of Carthage
College of Kenosha, Wis.; and Thomas Williamson of the New Mexico Museum
of Natural History and Science were credited with the discovery when the
dinosaur's name was recognized by the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The team reported that the 25-foot-long creature roamed the earth 10
million years before T. rex and was smaller and more primitive, with a
narrower snout.

"We've been finding teeth and odd bones from this animal for 20 years, and
it's nice to finally have a name for it, Schwimmer said.

The researchers said Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis was buried in mud at
the bottom of a shallow sea about 77.8 million years ago, after currents
carried it away from shore.